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August 10, 2010

EMC Helps Engineering Firm HNTB to Move to Private Cloud

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

EMC Corporation, a provider of information infrastructure solutions, announced that HNTB Corporation, a Kansas City-based provider of planning, design, program management and construction management services, has implemented EMC (News - Alert) and VMware solutions.

The solution will enable HNTB to streamline, protect and manage its rapidly growing information infrastructure and reduce IT expenditures and management costs as it moves towards the private cloud, company officials said.

As engineering and design applications become more sophisticated with 3-D capabilities, HNTB’s electronic file sizes are growing exponentially.  Additionally, as their business expands, the company needs to handle more operational data.  

“One of our biggest challenges is managing these growing data capacities while keeping our IT costs under control,” Richard Hall, vice president and director, Corporate Information Services,HNTB Corporation, said.

HNTB implemented VMware vSphere 4 virtualization software to consolidate its IT infrastructure to 12 servers and 250 virtual machines on its path to the private cloud. The virtualization effort has saved the company from the deployment of additional 238 servers and more storage, according to company officials.

Virtualization has slowed server sprawl and reduced costs associated with buying new servers and paying for their administration and energy use. The company has become more responsive to supporting new projects. “We can deploy a virtual machine in a day, or even 30 minutes, when it can take weeks to provision a new physical server,” Hall added.

HNTB chose EMC CLARiiON and EMC Celerra midrange storage systems to store information from its physical and virtual infrastructures, as well as its most critical applications, including Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases.

The company implemented EMC SourceOne to archive older Exchange e-mails from CLARiiON to long-term EMC Centera storage.

“With a consolidated, virtualized environment, we're saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenditures for servers, tapes and storage,” according to Hall. “In addition, as our storage infrastructure has grown from nearly a terabyte to 400 terabytes over 15 years, we haven't needed to increase our storage administration staff.”

HNTB phased out tape backup in favor of next-generation backup and recovery with EMC Data Domain (News - Alert) deduplication storage systems to protect its most critical application data across its physical and virtualized server environments.

The company’s 80 remote offices have replaced tape operations with EMC RepliStor software for replication of local files to the Celerra storage system, which is also replicated to a remote site for disaster recovery.

EMC’s Data Domain was deployed to automate its disaster recovery processes, significantly reducing both recovery-time objectives or “RTOs” and recovery-point objectives or “RPOs” while decreasing operational costs, company officials said.

Earlier in April, EMC announced it has entered into a partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies to help the National League Champion Phillies in managing and protecting the digitized information that is critical to their baseball and business operations.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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